If there was anything after smartphones that made headlines in the year 2016, it was affordable 4G internet plans. It all started with Reliance Jio, the dirt cheap and the first-of-its-kind unlimited and free internet and voice benefits for Indian consumers. The VoLTE based technology instantly triggered a war in the Indian telecom space and forced other telcos to introduce their share of voice and data offers to counterfeit Jio's plans.
As we are in the last week of the year 2016, let's have a look at the most interesting and talked about 4G internet plans that made headlines in 2016.
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Reliance Jio Plans
Let's start with the obvious one, the Reliance Jio, which was launched during Reliance's Annual General Meeting on September 1, 2016. The company introduced 10 plans priced between Rs 150 a month and Rs 5,000 a month to simplify the schemes for consumers. The company talked about data rates starting from Rs 50/GB, in which users will be offered unlimited data usage during night time. Besides data, free voice calls and roaming across India was also a part of the Reliance Jio plans.
The latest development in Reliance Jio is free voice and data benefits until March 31 and the company's plans to launch VoLTE enabled feature phones under Rs. 1,000.
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Airtel Unlimited 4G data
Soon after Reliance Jio, Airtel announced a new 4G plan that bundles unlimited 4G data for 90 days at a price of Rs. 1,495. It was a promotional offer announced by Airtel to attract the 3G users to use the 4G services. However, contrary to its name, the plan is not truly unlimited as it comes with a data cap of 30 GB after which the speed will drop to 64 kbps.
Besides, Airtel also announced the Mega Saver Pack for its prepaid customers. As per this pack, by paying Rs. 1,498, the users can get 1 GB of 3G or 4G data with a validity of 28 days. After using this data, users can get 1 GB of data for as low as Rs. 51.
BSNL BB 249 Broadband Plan
BSNL also jumped to the party and announced a broadband plan called BB 249. It was a promotional plan meant only for the new users and offered unlimited data for six months at a price of Rs. 249. The data speed offered was 2 Mbps for 2 GB of data and will drop to 1 Mbps later. Post the completion of data benefits, users will be migrated automatically to the BB 449 plan.
Vodafone Free Roaming Across India
To counter Reliance's free roaming plans, Vodafone India introduced free incoming calls while roaming nationally for all its customers from Diwali. Besides, the operator recently launched two unlimited voice calling prepaid recharge packs. The new unlimited voice calling packs are priced at Rs. 144 and Rs. 349. The Rs. 144 - Rs. 149 Vodafone unlimited voice calling pack varies in price as per the circle. This pack allows the users to make local and STD calls to any network in the country.
Moreover, with the unlimited calls, Vodafone users will also get 300MB of 4G data, and free incoming calls on national roaming as well.
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Idea Rs. 698 for unlimited voice calling
How can Idea stay away from the competition? The operator introduced Rs. 698 plan where users can make unlimited voice calls both local and STD to any network in India. This pack is valid for 28 days from the day of recharge.
Besides, Idea also announced affordable internet plans. The telco is offering 1GB of data and 400 national voice minutes at just Rs. 297. And you can also activate the Rs. 497 plan, which offers 800 national voice minutes and 2GB of data.